Millennials are taking up executive positions

A recent study found that 83 per cent of US employees have already encountered millennials managing boomers and Gen Xers in their offices. In the US alone, millennials make a massive cadre of 75 million and many are now advancing into managers and senior executives.


Worldwide there are about two billion millennials, people born between 1981 and 1996. Many of them have entered the workforce and are now rapidly becoming managers and even senior executives. A recent Korn Ferry article describes how the shift sounds ridiculous to baby boomers and Gen Xers, as many still hold false notions that millennials are a group “averse to working hard and have lightning-short attention spans”.

However, the average age of a first-time manager in the United States is about 30, so it shouldn’t actually come as a surprise that millennials are taking over en masse. One recent study that the article cites found that 83 per cent of US employees have already seen millennials managing boomers and Gen Xers in their offices. Although only two Fortune 500 companies have millennial-aged CEOs, there were anywhere from five million to eleven million millennials in management, business, or financial operations roles, according to the US Department of Labor.

What makes millennials different in managing positions?

According to consulting firm Korn Ferry’s expertise, millennials stand out for several reasons during interviews for executive positions:

  • Many will quietly express anxiety about moving into management.
  • They are worried about the right training, or developing the right skills.
  • They are also worried about showing enough emotional intelligence to lead effectively.

Despite these advances, millennials still fight prejudice, the Korn Ferry analysis finds. They are still trying to dispel clichés that have followed them for years, mainly the label that millennials feel an overwhelming sense of entitlement: They want everything now and at once without the right knowledge or being willing to put in the work.

Interestingly enough, the Korn Ferry article doesn’t comment on this nor does it try hard to disperse the prejudice.